So, pray to whatever god you pray to. Cast your wishes into the deaf and uncaring wind. I almost did. I almost prayed: “Lord, please don’t let Nikol die,” but then I thought God would hear me and think “oh, this jerkoff” and hit that red button and a game show buzzer would play– BAAAHHHHH– and she’d be dead. Or maybe the losing horn from “The Price is Right.”
Nikol is having surgery today. Eight hours to remove seven lymph nodes. Or something. Maybe five, I don’t know. Some number of lymph nodes where it makes the math extremely difficult to divide by eight hours. The surgery is so long and complicated that there is an intermission.
Lord, please don’t let Nikol die. Please please please, don’t let Nikol die.
There is a chance, a twenty per cent chance, that when removing the lymph nodes, one or more will break open and cancerous cells will leak into her bloodstream. This would result in a much quicker death from the disease. The cancer would be everywhere. Twenty per cent chance. Please don’t let this twenty per cent happen.
When she recovers, if she recovers, her immune system will be permanently compromised. She will have to take prednisone for the rest of her life. I don’t know what predisone is. I didn’t know what lymph nodes were; that they were part of your immune system. I didn’t know what the spleen did until Nikol had to have hers removed. Having a terminally ill friend is like having an old car– you learn how things work by watching them break all the time.
A lot of people are helping her. Someone is with her at the hospital; someone’s on her facebook keeping her friends up to date; Xeni Jardin, who is internet famous, is tweeting about her. Other people cleaned her house so when she returns home with her decimated immune system she won’t immediately fall prey to plague. My job is to take care of her son tonight. Spend the night over there, make him dinner, make him breakfast in the morning. Make sure he gets on the school bus. I guess– I don’t know. I should have paid more attention when Nikol was telling me these things on the phone. Maybe her anesthetized soul is floating over me watching me type these words, thinking I told you exactly what to do, you fucking retard. I gave you specific instructions; it’s not building a god damn particle collider– well, I’m sorry, discorporeal spirit of Nikol. My best friend is having fucking cancer surgery, it’s kind of fucking distracting. Jerk.
I always used to joke with her that I would take Trast to a whorehouse to lose his virginity. I almost posted that on her facebook– Trast and I are finally gonna take that field trip to Fontana. But she hated that joke. And plus if she dies it’s an asshole last thing to have posted on her wall. But then, she would have been even more pissed that I didn’t post a joke about taking her son to a whore on her wall. And if I had said “I love you and miss you and I am terrified that you are going to die and I am praying that you are going to be safe” she would have been infuriated.
Well, I love you. I miss you. I am terrified that you are going to die. I am praying that you are going to be safe.
Take that, fuckface.
My other job was to be the person who told them do not resuscitate if it all went haywire, but of course we didn’t get our shit together to handle the paperwork. Of course– we’re the type to let a fucking twenty five dollar citation snowball into three grand of fines and a bench warrant by ignoring it– and now is the time when a DNR order would actually be useful, when you are having eight hour surgery that could possibly put you into a brain damaged coma. But I’m glad we didn’t. Because I didn’t want to not resuscitate. I feel like I came in to traffic court and the cop didn’t show up.
But my main job, my main job through this whole thing, was to be the “normal” person. The person who wasn’t all cancer cancer cancer and omigod let me give you a hug and make you chamomile tea and have you tried Native American methods of healing and are you aware that all cancer is actually caused by a diet that is not alkaline enough and so drink this high PH water and eat broccoli and– what? Should I swallow a fucking conch shell? LA tap water is coming out of the hose at a solid 7.8, if I get anymore alkaline than that I’m gonna have fist sized kidney stones worming out of my bloody urethra. I don’t want to disparage anyone in particular, but, there was a facebook comment to the effect of “my sister’s Labrador had leukemia and they gave her this special soup made of kelp and it really helped her recover.” A special soup made of kelp for the fucking Labrador, and that was years ago, and the fucking dog is now dead.
So my job was to help her laugh about these things instead of spiraling off into doom and death and cancer and my kids are gonna be motherless and I’m on a short road to the grave punctuated by disfigurement and pain. I took her out places and we got drunk and would try to tag team dumb young girls. That was our Make A Wish Foundation. I felt good helping her forget about things for a minute. I also wanted to fuck Nikol’s face while eating out a nineteen year old stripper’s ass. I’m sorry to be crude, but that’s the way it is.
Anyway. I think I did an OK job. I made a mistake praying because now every time the wind blows, I think– is it Nikol’s spirit telling me she heard my prayers? Does that mean she is in my heart? But wait a minute, if she can control the wind, does that mean she’s dead? Did she just die on the operating table? Do you get to control the wind when you die? Is it the ultimate mixed blessing for your loved ones if they own a sailboat?
Dear Lord, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if Nikol was a good woman or bad. Why she fought and why she died. All that matters is Nikol is my favorite person in the world. That’s what’s important. Valor pleases you, so grant me this one request. Let her live.
And if you do not listen, then to hell with you!